- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Hayek vindicated

“If Nobel Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek had been watching … as bloggers spontaneously responded to fraudulent documents aired by the program ‘60 Minutes,’ he would’ve grinned in humble satisfaction. Hayek’s work centered on the effectiveness of spontaneous, decentralized organization. … Regardless of the political consequences of the Killian Memo controversy, Hayek’s work has been vindicated and his critics undermined. …

“How is it that some of these relatively unknown bloggers, with no direct access to experts and forensics, were able to uncover the truth about these memos before anyone else? …

“Hayek’s work focused on how it is that complicated and reliable systems of cooperation come about without any centralized direction. When they do, they outperform systems of ‘command,’ systems that rely on central direction. … It doesn’t take a directive from Washington to get Apple Computers to make more iPods. Why? Because the market tells Apple how many will sell. …

“Steve Jobs knows more about making iPods than George Bush. Everyone has something he knows more about than just about anyone else, even if that something is as basic as his own car. A command system requires the person with the knowledge to wait on the guy without it. A market system gives the person with knowledge the freedom and power to act on it.”

Michael Van Winkle, writing on “Hayek Smiled: Why Blogging Works,” Sept. 16 in Tech Central Station at www.techcentralstation.com

Secular party

“It is not difficult to understand why many religious voters often perceive the Democrats as too secular. However important it may be to reach out to religious voters in general elections, the party’s platform and nominees for national office need to appeal to party activists motivated by ideological concerns, many of whom identify religious conservatives as their major antagonists on some issues. For government to prohibit abortion, say, or ban gay marriage, in their view, represents not only misguided public policy but also conforms to what secular people typically view as an old-fashioned morality, rooted in religious traditionalism, that demands of people that they sacrifice their personal liberty for the sake of obedience to the commands of a supernatural authority. …

“This secularist viewpoint has strong support among intellectuals who shape the ideas that motivate party activists.”

Alan Wolfe, writing on “The God gap,” Sunday in the Boston Globe

‘Liberation hypothesis’

“When it comes to plain, old-fashioned physical brutality, girls are quickly catching up (and in some instances have caught up) with boys. …

“The FBI’s Crime Index for violent crimes shows that the arrest rate for American girls soared 103 percent between 1981 and 1997. …

“More often than not scholars are fingering the influence of feminism and something called the ‘liberation hypothesis,’ which briefly states that 50 years ago if a young woman wanted to be bad she had relatively few opportunities to do so. Equal rights have given women more economic opportunities, but also more opportunities to be bad, or, as in the case of [Army Pfc.] Lynndie England, very bad. …

“Our generation has witnessed the percentage of girls in juvenile jails soar from 5 percent to 20, and it is still rising.”

Christopher Orlet, writing on “Our Girls,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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